October 15th, 2018

.223 Remington vs. 5.56x45mm — Facts vs. Fiction

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

Probably the most popular centerfire rifle round in the Western Hemisphere is the .223 Remington and its metric match, the 5.56x45mm. Though many folks use “.223 Rem” and “5.56×45″ interchangeably, there are some meaningful differences in specifications for the original .223 Rem and the 5.56x45mm cartridge, as adopted by the U.S. military and NATO armies. The default chamber throats are slightly different and the .223 Rem is rated at 55,000 PSI vs. 62,366 PSI for the 5.56x45mm.*

.223 Rem vs 5.56x45mm — Key Differences
There is a truly outstanding, very thorough article on the subject, published by LuckyGunner.com.** This involved extensive testing, with pressure monitors, of 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. Those tests revealed the peak pressures. Here is one of the ammo test charts:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

NOTE: “The observed chamber pressure for Federal XM855 5.56mm ammunition in a .223 Rem chamber exceeded .223 maximum pressures, but not by a massive amount. The ninth shot (the red line) was an underpowered cartridge which exhibited significantly lower velocity and pressure than the other rounds, so it was excluded from the average velocity and pressure numbers for this chamber.”

And if you’re curious, LuckyGunner also fired .223 Rem ammo in a 5.56x45mm NATO-chambered AR15 rifle. As you would expect, the peak pressures were significantly lower, but the .223 Rem ammo still cycled the semi-auto AR-platform rifle perfectly well:

.223 Rem Remington 5.56 SAAMI CIP 5.56x45 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge ammo pressure test luckygunner ultimatereloader Gavin Gear

READ FULL LuckyGunner .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm ARTICLE »

UltimateReloader.com Explains .223 Rem vs. 5.56x45mm
To explain the key differences between the .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm cartridges our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has created a very thorough 12-minute video. This covers the cartridge specifications and explains key considerations for hand-loaders. Gavin also addresses the oft-asked question “Can I shoot 5.56x45mm ammo in my .223 Rem chamber?” Gavin’s video is definitely worth watching. In fact, this is one of the most popular videos Gavin has ever created — it has been watched over 300,000 times on YouTube.

What Exactly Is the 5.56x45mm NATO Cartridge?
The 5.56×45mm NATO is a rimless bottle-necked intermediate cartridge family standardized by NATO with development work by FN Herstal. It consists of the SS109, SS110, and SS111 cartridges. Under STANAG 4172, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries.

Bullet diameter: 5.70 mm (0.224 in)
Maximum pressure (EPVAT): 430.00 MPa (62,366 psi)
Maximum pressure (SCATP 5.56): 380.00 MPa (55,114 psi)
Case length: 44.70 mm (1.760 in)
Rifling twist: 178 mm or 229 mm (1 in 7 in)
Parent case: .223 Remington (M193)

Ammo-Maker Federal Premium Compares .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm
Here is a video from ammo-maker Federal Premium explaining the difference between .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm NATO. Federal states that you may experience excessive pressures when firing a 5.56x45mm in a standard .223 Remington chamber:

One leading gunwriter has addressed the question of shooting 5.56x45mm ammo in .223 Rem chambers. He advocates caution (for more info, SEE pressure tests by LuckyGunner.com):

“I have received a slew of questions — many from first time AR-type rifle buyers — about the .223 Rem and the 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridges. Can I shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO in my .223 and vice-versa? Are these the same cartridge?

Externally, the two cartridge cases are identical. The main differences are that 5.56×45 mm NATO operates at a higher chamber pressure (about 60,000 PSI versus 55,000 PSI on the .223 Rem.) and the 5.56’s chamber is slightly larger than that of the .223 Rem. Also, the throat or leade is longer in the 5.56×45 mm chamber. What does this mean? You should not shoot 5.56×45 mm NATO out of a rifle that is chambered in .223 Rem. And be aware that some .223 Rem. ammunition will not reliably cycle through some AR-style .223 Rem. rifles, but it usually does. As a matter of fact, I have not encountered any difficulty with current .223 Rem. loads cycling through a 5.56 mm AR-style rifle.”
– Mark Keefe, Editor, American Rifleman


* According to the official NATO proofing guidelines, the 5.56×45mm NATO case can handle up to 430.0 MPa (62,366 psi) piezo service pressure. The U.S. SAAMI lists Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) for the .223 Remington cartridge as 55,000 psi (379.2 MPa) piezo pressure with deviation of up to 58,000 psi (399.9 MPa). The chamber for military 5.56×45mm NATO has a longer throat prior to the bullet contacting the rifling which results in lower pressures when firing 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. If 5.56×45mm NATO is used in rifles chambered for .223 Remington the bullet will be engraving the rifling when chambered. which can increase pressures past SAAMI Max levels. NOTE: The C.I.P. standards for the C.I.P. civilian .223 Remington chamber are much closer to the military 5.56×45mm NATO chamber.

** The full-length LuckyGunner article is well worth reading. It even provides specifications for a number of .223 Rem reamer types, and compares the original .223 Rem, the 5.56x45mm NATO, and the modern .223 Wylde chamberings.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
October 15th, 2018

Bargain Finder 160: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Browning A-Bolt III Rifle, $349.99 with Rebate

Browning A-Bolt Composite Hunting Stalker Rifle Rebate Bucks Hunter

Here’s an awesome deal on Browning hunting rifles. Browning will give you $100 Cash Back on a wide selection of hunting rigs. For example CDNN now offers the A-Bolt III Composite Stalker in .30-06 Springfield for just $449.99. With Browning’s $100.00 Rebate, you net cost is just $349.99. The same deal is offered for other chamberings, including .243 Win, .270 Win, and 7mm Rem Mag. That’s a great price — you could pay that much just for a custom barrel. NOTE: This Browning Bucks $100 Rebate Program also applies to Browning rimfire rifles and shotguns. There is a $50 Rebate for X-Bolt rifles. To make this deal even sweeter, CDNN is now offering a FREE 3-9x40mm Bushnell scope with each A-Bolt III Rifle sold. Check it out:

Browning A-Bolt Composite Hunting Stalker Rifle Rebate Bucks Hunter

2. Precision Reloading — Discounts on All Powders in Stock

Precision Reloading Powder Sale

Right now Precision Reloading is running a big sale on reloading powders. Save 10% or more on all leading powder brands: Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot, Vihtavuori, and Winchester. The sale applies to all one-pound containers, as well at 5-lb and 8-lb jugs. If you need powder, don’t hesitate — this promotion ends 10/19/2018 at 11:59 pm. NOTE: In addition to powders, Precision Reloading has CCI primers on sale this week — save up to 17% on all CCI primer types.

3. Midsouth — Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press, $69.99

Lyman C-Frame Ideal compact press cast iron

Lyman’s new Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. It also is a good choice for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a range bench with C-clamps. With its cast-iron body, this C-Frame press is stronger than other presses in its price class. If you are looking for a secondary press for decapping, bullet-seating and other tasks not requiring heavy leverage, this is an excellent choice. The Lyman Ideal costs just $69.99 at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

4. Midsouth — 10% Off All Sierra Bullets

Midsouth Shooters Sierra Bullet Bullets Sale

Need match or hunting projectiles? All Sierra bullets are on sale right now at Midsouth Shooters Supplies. Save 10% on Sierra match, hunting, and varmint bullets, including regular and tipped bullets. Competitors take note — Sierra’s MatchKing bullets are top performers in many disciplines. The 6mm and 6.5mm MatchKings are great for PRS, and the new heavy (183gr and 197gr) 7mm MatchKings (pointed at the factory) have worked great for F-Open shooters. Here are some of the great deals:

6mm 110gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $36.18 marked down from $40.20
6.5mm 142gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $39.45 marked down from $43.84
7mm 183gr BTHP MatchKing (100) — $44.255 marked down from $49.16

5. MidwayUSA — Big Sale on Zeiss V4, V6, and V8 Riflescopes

Midway MidwayUSA Zeiss scope optics V4 V6 hunting riflescope Sale

Zeiss makes great scopes with superb glass, reliable tracking, and very positive clicks. Now you can save hundreds on Zeiss V4, V6, and V8 optics. The V4 is an affordable scope for hunters, while the V8 Line offers a stunning 8X zoom ratio. The V6 models, with 6X zoom ratio, are outstanding scopes that compete very well with Nightforce and other top brands on price and performance. Competition and long range shooters should definitely look at the V6 line-up. NOTE: These discounts are part of a Zeiss Field Day Promotion running through 10/29/2018. See similar incentives at other retailers.

6. EuroOptic — Leica Geovid 10×42 HD-B 2200 LRF Binoculars

leica geovid binocular 10x42 HD HD-B 2200 3000 Eurooptic Sale

Leica’s outstanding Geovid 10×42 binoculars feature a built-in laser rangefinder rated to 2000 yards. We’ve used this HD-B 2000 unit and the optics are superb and the rangefinding is super fast. When placed on a tripod for support we were amazed at the ranging ability of these Geovids. Give credit to great glass, minimal beam divergence and Leica’s excellent error correction software. Act now and you can save $1000 over the original price. Note: This is discontinued model that has been replaced by the newer Leica HD-B 3000, priced at $2999.00.

7. Brownells — Sig P320 9mm Pistol, $399.99

Brownells Sig Sauer p320 pistol carry compact 9mm

The new SIG P320 is one of the best compact 9mm carry guns on the market. Accurate, slim, and reliable, it has earned praise from owners and reviewers alike. Yes we would rather carry a P320 than a sub-compact Glock. This modular, striker-fired pistol features a sub-compact grip, slim slide, and Night Sights. Safety features include a striker safety and disconnect safety. Brownells’ sale price is $399.99, marked down from $579.99.

8. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

9. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics No Comments »
October 13th, 2018

Machine Gun Shoot This Weekend at Knob Creek in Kentucky

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is typically held on the second weekend of both April and October. The latest Machine Gun Shoot is happening RIGHT NOW. It started on Friday, October 12th and runs all weekend through Sunday the 14th. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night Shoot, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds will be expended during the October Night Shoot.

Participants are machine gun dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from all over the country. The Machine Gun Shoot itself consists of three days of machine gun shooting, dealer displays, shooting competitions and the spectacular Saturday Night Shoot. Participants shoot at a wide variety of used appliances, abandoned vehicles, and barrels of fuel with pyrotechnic charges attached. The pyrotechnic charges are set off by bullet impacts, creating large mushroom clouds and fireballs. With the tracers and explosive fireballs, this is an amazing experience. Check out the video:

Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)

A few seasons back, Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng was on hand to record the firepower. Chris writes: “About an hour before dark, folks are out on the range setting up all sorts of explosives while a crowd builds, anxiously awaiting what we all know is coming. The lights go out, and the next thing you know machine guns are going off for almost 20 straight minutes. This year’s October 2013 edition did not disappoint. Check out the video below — other than the beginning, my favorite part is at the 5:50 mark [when a Mini-Gun opens fire from the right].”

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Photos of Knob Creek Gun Range, West Point
This photo of Knob Creek Gun Range is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
October 10th, 2018

Dewey Aluminum Jags Eliminate “False Positives”

Aluminum jag copper eliminator Dewey

Conventional brass jags work great — except for one thing. They can react to solvents, leaving a blue “false positive” on patches. In recent years, jag-makers have experimented with many different materials in an effort to cure the solvent-reaction problem. Today we have polymer jags, nickel-plated jags, and stainless steel jags. And the latest innovation is the aluminum jag from Dewey.

Aluminum jag DeweyJ. Dewey Mfg. offers a series of “Copper Eliminator” jags and brush adapters made from aircraft-grade aluminum with the same hardness as brass. Dewey claims that its aluminum jags will not become embedded with grit or particles that could harm your bore. At the same time, Dewey’s aluminum jags will not react to ammoniated bore solvents that can turn patches blue green when used with brass jags. Dewey aluminum jags are offered with either male OR female 8/32 threads. The $5.25 aluminum jags and $3.70 brush adapters are offered in a wide variety of calibers. You can order from Dewey Mfg. or Sinclair Int’l.

Story Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome submissions from our readers.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 8th, 2018

Rimfire Round-Up — Thirty-One .22 LR Ammo Types Tested

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting

Here’s a “must-read” article for .22 LR rimfire shooters. The recently-released October 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) includes a great article with data on thirty-one (31) different types of popular .22 LR rimfire ammunition. The line-up includes low-speed, standard, and Hi-Velocity types, plus choices for plinking, varminting, and target applications. Brands tested include: Aguila, American Eagle, CCI, Federal, Fiocchi, Lapua, Remington, and Winchester. The slowest ammo, CCI Quiet-22 Lead RN, clocked 727 FPS. The fastest ammo, CCI Short-Range Green Lead-Free HP, ran 1735 FPS, more than twice as fast as the Quiet-22.

SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo TEST | SSUSA October 2018 Full Issue

For each ammo type, SSUSA lists the bullet weight, velocity (FPS), and average of two, 5-shot groups at fifty yards. The most accurate ammo was Lapua Center-X LRN, with a 0.37″ average 50-yard group size. Second best was Lapua X-ACT LRN at 0.42″. Ammo was tested from a bench with a Cooper Model 57-M rifle fitted with 3-9x33mm Leupold VX-2 scope. The ammo offerings were grouped into three categories: (1) Varmints/Small Game; (2) Target; and (3) Plinking. (See ammo tables below.)

Shooting Sports USA .22 LR 22LR Rimfire ammunition test subsonic hi-velocity lead-free hyper velocity suppressor match ammo plinking varmint hunting
Click for larger page-view.

Different types of .22 LR (Long Rifle) rimfire ammo have different applications. Subsonic ammo, typically, is best for 25m to 50m target work with precision rimfire rigs. Hi-Velocity .22 LR ammo provides a flatter trajectory for longer ranges. SSUSA explains: “The array of .22 LR loads… turns a person’s head every which way. Subsonic target loads are the key to decisive accuracy on targets, while hyper-velocity cartridges provide striking bullet expansion on small varmints. In between, standard and high-velocity .22 LRs are loadrf with a variety of bullet weights and styles for everything from small-game hunting to plinking[.]” READ Full SSUSA .22 LR Rimfire Ammo Story.

Rimfire Ammo Article tip from EdLongrange.
Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
October 8th, 2018

Bargain Finder 159: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Midsouth — Major Brand Blem Tipped Bullets — Up to 45% Off

Midsouth Blem bullets discount tipped bullet

Midsouth is now offering big savings on major-brand blem bullets. These are overruns, cosmetically blemished jackets or tip discolorations, or factory second bullets from a major bullet manufacturer (Midsouth isn’t allowed to name the company). NOTE: Some projectile tips are misshapen, other packages may contain bullets which vary by grain weight. No matter what, you’re getting tipped hunting, or tipped match bulk bullets at huge savings. Many options in .243 (6mm), .257, .264 (6.5mm), .277, .284 (7mm), .308, and .338 calibers.

2. Brownells — Thompson Center T/CR22 — $249.99 With Rebate

Thompson Center T/CR22

Thompson Center’s new T/CR22 rimfire can use most Ruger 10/22 accessories including 10/22 mags. But it has some distinct advantages over the Ruger. The stock is a quality MagPul composite design. The barrel is button-rifled with a threaded muzzle. The bolt holds open after the last shot. This gun comes complete with front and rear iron sights as well as a Picatinny rail on the action. NRA reviewers praised this gun saying: “Thompson Center has taken the aftermarket parts you’re going to pay extra for [on a Ruger 10/22] and made them standard on the T/CR22, saving you some cash[.]” Right now the T/CR22 is on sale for $299.99 at Brownells with a $50 manufacturer REBATE, for a $249.99 cost after rebate. But it gets better — use CODE “N8Y” during checkout to save another $20 and get free shipping. Then your actual cost for the rifle (after discount and rebate), is $229.99 plus $10.00 FFL Processing fee.

3. Brownells — ATI GSG .22 LR FireFly Pistol (P226 Style)

ATI SIG P226 P-Series rimfire .22LR .22 LR Pistol handgun

If you like SIG Sauer P-series pistols, you’ll love this GSG .22 LR rimfire. It faithfully copies the lines and ergonomics of the classic P226 9mm handgun. Make by GSG in Germany, the ATI Firefly features a 4″ barrel, alloy frame, and steel slide. A simple blowback operating system provides reliable cycling with included 10-round magazine. The Firefly is on sale now at Brownells for just $179.99, marked down from $249.99. That’s a great price for a nice little rimfire that is offered in three finishes: Matte Black, Tan, and Dark Green. Weight: 1.53 pounds.

4. VihtaVuori — $5.00 Per Pound Rebate on Vihtavuori Powders

Capstone Vihtavuori powder propellant N133 N140 rebate discount sale $60 cash back

The 2018 VihtaVuori Rebate Program is under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per bottle when you purchase VihtaVuori powders. Act soon as this offer expires on October 15, 2018. Be sure to keep your receipts and note the labels. The Rebate application MUST include proof of purchase showing retailer name and date of purchase. And the Rebate Form MUST include the serial number for each VihtaVuori bottle purchased.

Bruno’s | Graf’s | Midsouth | Powder Valley | Precision Reloading

VV Rebate Start Date: 8/15/2018
VV Rebate End Date: 10/15/2018
Postmarked By Date: 11/30/2018
Minimum Purchase: One 1-pound bottle
Maximum Purchase: Twelve 1-pound bottles
Maximum REBATE is $60.00

5. Natchez — Big Savings on Nikon Optics (Scopes, LRFs, Binocs)

Nikon natchez scope deal bargain refurbished sale discount

Need a scope or LRF for hunting season? Here’s a chance to save hundreds on a quality Nikon optic. Natchez Shooters Supply is offering exclusive deals on both new and refurbished Nikon riflescopes, rangefinders, and binoculars including camo finish hunting scopes for hunters. There are some truly excellent bargains, plus you can get $5 Flat Rate Shipping with Code 180910 (through 9/12/18). Here are some of the best deals on Nikon scopes at Natchez right now:

Nikon 2-10x50mm Monarch 5 scope (new), BDC Reticle
Now $319.99 (Reduced from $599.95 — Save $279.96)

Nikon 3.5-14x50mm ProStaff 5 scope (new), Illum. Nikoplex Reticle
Now $294.99 (Reduced from $579.95 — Save $284.96)

Nikon 4-12x40mm Active Target scope (new) , Realtree Camo, BDC Predator Reticle
Now $184.99 (Reduced from $329.95 — Save $144.96)

Burris Scopes Also on Sale
Natchez also has many Burris scopes up to 60% OFF. For example the Burris XTR II 1-5x24mm riflescope is marked down from $799.00 to $459.99, a $339 savings!

6. Mossberg — 20% Off All Products in Mossberg Store this Week

Mossberg Accessories online store 20% Off parts sale

Mossberg just announced a major fall season sale. Virtually everything in Mossberg’s online store is now 20% Off with CODE “FALL 20″. This includes stocks, barrels, triggers, sights, heat shields, magazines, apparel, range bags, gun cases, and much more. This is a great way to acquire quality accessories at bargain prices. This promotion runs through 10/11/2018. Mossberg Sale tip from EdLongrange.

NOTE: This sale does not apply to complete Mossberg rifles or shotguns. Those must be purchased through retail FFL dealers.

7. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

8. Brownells — RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press, $130.99

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press Discount Sale Brownells

The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press is a classic single-stage press that will handle all hand-loading sizing and seating chores. There’s plenty of leverage to full-length size big cases. The rigidity of this cast-iron press also allows precise, repeatable bullet seating. While we prefer to prime as a separate operation, you CAN prime your cases with the Rock Chucker. Right now this press is on sale at Brownells for $140.99. However, with CODE “NBM” you save $10 and get FREE Shipping. That way your net cost is $130.99 delivered. This same press sells elsewhere for up to $165.00.

9. Amazon — 12″x12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Optics, Reloading No Comments »
October 7th, 2018

Reloading Tip: Bullet Bearing Surface and Pressure

USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading
Photo 1: Three Near-Equal-Weight 7mm Bullets with Different Shapes

TECH TIP: Bullets of the same weight (and caliber) can generate very different pressure levels due to variances in Bearing Surface Length (BSL).

Bullet 1 (L-R), the RN/FB, has a very slight taper and only reaches its full diameter (0.284″) very near the cannelure. This taper is often seen on similar bullets — it helps reduce pressures with good accuracy. The calculated BSL of Bullet 1 was ~0.324″. The BSL of Bullet 2, in the center, was ~0.430”, and Bullet 3’s was ~ 0.463″. Obviously, bullets can be visually deceiving as to BSL!


This article from the USAMU covers an important safety issue — why you should never assume that a “book” load for a particular bullet will be safe with an equal-weight bullet of different shape/design. The shape and bearing surface of the bullet will affect the pressure generated inside the barrel. This is part of the USAMU’s Handloading Hump Day series, published on the USAMU Facebook page.

Beginning Handloading, Part 13:
Extrapolating Beyond Your Data, or … “I Don’t Know, What I Don’t Know!”

We continue our Handloading Safety theme, focusing on not inadvertently exceeding the boundaries of known, safe data. Bullet manufacturers’ loading manuals often display three, four, or more similar-weight bullets grouped together with one set of load recipes. The manufacturer has tested these bullets and developed safe data for that group. However, seeing data in this format can tempt loaders — especially new ones — to think that ALL bullets of a given weight and caliber can interchangeably use the same load data. Actually, not so much.

The researchers ensure their data is safe with the bullet yielding the highest pressure. Thus, all others in that group should produce equal or less pressure, and they are safe using this data.

However, bullet designs include many variables such as different bearing surface lengths, hardness, and even slight variations in diameter. These can occasionally range up to 0.001″ by design. Thus, choosing untested bullets of the same weight and caliber, and using them with data not developed for them can yield excess pressures.

This is only one of the countless reasons not to begin at or very near the highest pressure loads during load development. Always begin at the starting load and look for pressure signs as one increases powder charges.

Bullet bearing surface length (BSL) is often overlooked when considering maximum safe powder charges and pressures. In photo 1 (at top), note the differences in the bullets’ appearance. All three are 7mm, and their maximum weight difference is just five grains. Yet, the traditional round nose, flat base design on the left appears to have much more BSL than the sleeker match bullets. All things being equal, based on appearance, the RN/FB bullet seems likely to reach maximum pressure with significantly less powder than the other two designs.

Bearing Surface Measurement Considerations
Some might be tempted to use a bullet ogive comparator (or two) to measure bullets’ true BSL for comparison’s sake. Unfortunately, comparators don’t typically measure maximum bullet diameter and this approach can be deceiving.

Photo 2: The Perils of Measuring Bearing Surface Length with Comparators
USAMU Bullet Ogive Comparision Safety Reloading

In Photo 2, two 7mm comparators have been installed on a dial caliper in an attempt to measure BSL. Using this approach, the BSLs differed sharply from the original [measurements]. The comparator-measured Bullet 1 BSL was 0.694” vs. 0.324” (original), Bullet 2 was 0.601” (comparator) vs. 0.430” (original), and Bullet 3 (shown in Photo 2) was 0.602” (comparator) vs. 0.463” (original). [Editor’s comment — Note the very large difference for Bullet 1, masking the fact that the true full diameter on this bullet starts very far back.]

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 10 Comments »
October 7th, 2018

Darrell Holland Upgrade for RCBS Bench Priming Tool

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primer

Gunsmith Darrell Holland sells a priming tool that upgrades the RCBS Auto Bench Priming Tool with key features — including primer seating depth control. If your hand starts to hurt after priming dozens of cases with a hand-held, squeeze-type priming tool, you may want to consider Holland’s invention, which he calls the “Perfect Primer Seater” (PPS).

Holland basically has modified the RCBS lever, adding a precise crush control and a means of measuring depth with a gauge. He claims this gives “an EXACT primer seating depth based on primer pocket depth and primer thickness”. With Holland’s PPS, primer seating depth is controlled with a rotating wheel that limits lever travel in precise gradations. You can buy the complete priming system for $215.00, or, if you already own the RCBS Auto Prime tool, you can purchase an adapter kit (with base, arm, adjuster, and gauge etc.) for $120.00. To order, visit Hollandguns.com. Click on “Reloading Equipment”, and look for the Perfect Primer Seater. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to add items to the shopping cart.

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primer

Priming Tool Holland Perfect RCBS bench mount primerUser Review by Tommy Todd
Sierra Bullets’ Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd acquired the Holland Perfect Primer Seater, and gave it a positive review. Todd writes: “This cartridge case priming system allows you to measure the primer pocket depth and adjust the seating tool to match the primer seating depth for a contact fit with a measured lot of primers to the cases you are working with. Mr. Darrell Holland has taken a standard RCBS automatic bench-mounted priming tool and modified it to a new level of precision. The modifications allow you to measure the primer pocket depth, primer height, and with the addition of an adjustable stop on the priming tool achieve precision primer seating, rather than how the primer ‘feels'[.]

If you are already utilizing the RCBS priming tool, Mr. Holland offers an adapter kit to upgrade your equipment. If you are looking for a new priming unit, I suggest giving this product a try. Increasing consistency when seating primers should result in smaller groups[.]”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 6th, 2018

Case Prep Tips from Western Powders

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Western Powders (which sells Accurate, Ramshot, and Norma powders) has published an article on case inspection and preparation. There are many tips in this article that can be useful to precision hand-loaders. For example, every time you open a new box of cartridge brass (particularly from domestic makers), you should inspect each case for flaws.

TIP ONE: Visual Inspection — Finding Flaws
Cases are mass-produced items and malformed ones are relatively common. Inspect each case carefully looking for obvious defects. A bench-mounted magnifying glass with light is a real help for the over-40 crowd. The main defects will be cracks in the neck or case body, crushed shoulders or deep creases in the neck. Next check the primer pocket. It is also fairly common to find flash holes that are damaged or, more rarely, not concentric to the primer pocket.

Western Powders Case Preparation prep inspection flash holes primer pockets reloading

Imperfections like small dings in the case body, or necks that are not completely symmetrical do not have to be eliminated at this step. Damage of this sort is usually from loose packaging and usually has not seriously damaged the brass. [Running an expander mandrel in the neck] and fire-forming will iron out these largely cosmetic issues.

The Western Powder article also talks about primer pocket uniforming. We do NOT normally uniform the pockets for Lapua or RWS brass from the start. However, pocket uniforming can be beneficial with some other brands of brass, including Lake City, Remington, and Winchester. If you shoot milsurp brass, set time aside for pocket uniforming.

TIP TWO: Primer Pocket Uniforming
Western Powders Case Preparation inspection flash holes primer pockets reloadingLike flash holes, primer pockets are mass-produced and prone to small dimensional changes. A uniforming tool is used to make the depth of each primer pocket consistent. In turn this allows similar firing pin strike depths on the primer which creates more consistent ignition characteristics.

A good uniforming tool should have a shoulder, or another positive stop, that sets the cutter’s depth. Its use is pretty straightforward. The cutter is inserted into the pocket and turned clockwise several times until the stop in flush with the case head and no more brass is removed from the juncture of the pocket’s base and sidewall. This a job best done by hand. You will feel when the cutting is finished by a change in how smoothly the cutter turns in the pocket. Very little material is actually removed; usually just enough to square the radius at the bottom of the pocket.


READ Full Case Prep Article in Western Powders Blog »

Western Powders Blog Case Prep Neck turning

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
October 5th, 2018

Changing Primer Types Can Alter Load Velocities and Pressures

Primer Wolf CCI Federal Muzzle velocity FPS reloading

We are often asked “Can I get more velocity by switching primer types?” The answer is “maybe”. The important thing to know is that changing primer types can alter your load’s performance in many ways — velocity average, velocity variance (ES/SD), accuracy, and pressure. Because there are so many variables involved you can’t really predict whether one primer type is going to be better or worse than another. This will depend on your cartridge, your powder, your barrel, and even the mechanics of your firing pin system.

Interestingly, however, a shooter on another forum did a test with his .308 Win semi-auto. Using Hodgdon Varget powder and Sierra 155gr Palma MatchKing (item 2156) bullets, he found that Wolf Large Rifle primers gave slightly higher velocities than did CCI-BR2s. Interestingly, the amount of extra speed (provided by the Wolfs) increased as charge weight went up, though the middle value had the largest speed variance. The shooter observed: “The Wolf primers seemed to be obviously hotter and they had about the same or possibly better ES average.” See table:

Varget .308 load 45.5 grains 46.0 grains 46.5 grains
CCI BR2 Primers 2751 fps 2761 fps 2783 fps
Wolf LR Primers 2757 fps 2780 fps 2798 fps
Speed Delta 6 fps 19 fps 15 fps

You can’t extrapolate too much from the table above. This describes just one gun, one powder, and one bullet. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) as they say. However, this illustration does show that by substituting one component you may see significant changes. Provided it can be repeated in multiple chrono runs, an increase of 19 fps (with the 46.0 grain powder load) is meaningful. An extra 20 fps or so may yield a more optimal accuracy node or “sweet spot” that produces better groups. (Though faster is certainly NOT always better for accuracy — you have to test to find out.)

WARNING: When switching primers, you should exercise caution. More speed may be attractive, but you have to consider that the “speedier” primer choice may also produce more pressure. Therefore, you must carefully monitor pressure signs whenever changing ANY component in a load. Glen Zediker recommends decreasing your load ONE FULL GRAIN when changing to a different primer type, one that you haven’t used before.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 8 Comments »
October 4th, 2018

New Western Powders Handloading Guide 7.0 — Great Resource

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Western Powders has released its NEW Handloading Guide, Edition 7.0. This $2.99 print resource contains the latest load data for Western’s propellants including Accurate, Ramshot, and Blackhorn powders. Edition 7.0 features the most current data available for Ramshot and Accurate powders, including popular LT30 and LT32, and new Accurate TCM, Accurate 11FS and Ramshot LRT propellants. This latest load guide also has load data for the new 224 Valkyrie, 300 Norma, and 30 Nosler cartridges. Along with reloading recipes, this resource features helpful articles on handloading methods and rifle maintenance/cleaning with X-Treme products.

GET New Western Powders Handloading Guide 7.0 for $2.99 »

Accurate Powder Online Load Data | Ramshot Powder Online Load Data

In the new Handloading Guide 7.0 , you’ll find load data for over 100 rifle cartridges. The cartridge listings are up to date — you’ll find the popular new mid-sized competition cartridges, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5×47 Lapua, along with many popular wildcat varmint cartridges, such as the 20 Vartarg, 20 Tactical, and 20 BR. Benchresters will also find recipes for the new LT 30 and LT 32 powders which have proven very accurate in the 30BR and 6PPC respectively.

Western Powders reloading guide LT30 LT32

GET FREE Western Powders Reloading & Load Data Guide 6.0 »

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32Download FREE Version 6.0 Guide:
If you can live without the very latest info, you can still get Version 6.0 of Western’s Reloading Guide for FREE. That’s right Version 6.0 is a FREE downloadable PDF. This FREE Reloading & Load Data Guide (Edition 6.0) contains thousands of recipes for handgun and rifle cartridges (plus shotshell and muzzle-loading info).

Download Reloading Guide 6.0 PDF (FREE)

Here is just a partial listing of the 100+ rifle cartridge types covered in Western’s Load Data Guide 6.0:

Western Powders Accurate Ramshot reloading guide LT30 LT32

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News, Reloading No Comments »
October 3rd, 2018

Alliant Reloder 16 — Great Powder for Match Cartridges

Reloder Reloader 16 Alliant Powder Propellant Bofors TZ temperature stability temp stable H4350

Do You Like H4350? Then You Should Try Reloder 16 — It Is Accurate and Temp Stable
Alliant Reloder 16 is used now by many top shooters for cartridges that work well with Hodgdon H4350. In fact, we’d say that Reloder 16 is the best substitute for H4350 on the market. Alliant’s RL 16 is very temp stable, offers good velocity, and the accuracy is top tier. Some guys report slightly better accuracy than H4350 in the .284 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6mm Creedmoor, and 6XC cartridges. If you currently use H4350, you should definitely give Alliant Reloder 16 a try. The powder also boasts excellent lot-to-lot consistency and contains a proprietary de-coppering additive.

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win WinchesterThis is NOT just a slower version of Alliant’s double-based Reloder 15 (which words great in the 6mmBR and Dasher cartridges). Reloder 16 is a completely new formulation, produced in Sweden by Bofors for Alliant. Reloder 16 utilizes TZ technology, which manipulates the response of the propellant and resists the natural tendency to generate more pressure at higher temperatures and less pressure at lower temperatures. As a result, Alliant’s Reloder 16 offers truly outstanding temperature stability.

Reloder 16 Load Recipes »

Reloder 16 Load Data PDF »

Match and Hunting Cartridge Applications:
Alliant tells us that Reloder 16 “is ideal for traditional hunting cartridges, such as .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester, as well as 6.5mm target loads and tactical applications wherein temperature stability is required.” We also think the powder will work well in these popular match cartridges: 6XC, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .284 Win, and .300 WSM. For example, Alliant’s Reloder 16 Load Data Page shows a 2932 FPS load with Berger 130 grain Hybrid bullet in the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for 6.5 Creedmoor:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester

Alliant Reloder 16 Load DATA for .243 Winchester:

Alliant powder Reloader Reloder 16 RL16 load data 6.5 Creedmoor .243 Win Winchester
NOTE: This is a partial .243 Win Data set. More loads available HERE.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading No Comments »
October 3rd, 2018

Ten Shots, 200 Yards, One Ragged Hole — Sierra Bullet Testing

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

What kind of 200-yard accuracy can you get in an enclosed, underground test range? Would you believe 0.162 MOA at 200 yards with a .338? Have a look at these test targets from Sierra Bullets. Like most bullet manufacturers, Sierra does live-fire bullet testing to ensure that Sierra projectiles perform as promised, with repeatable accuracy. Sierra tests bullets in its own underground test complex. Sierra’s 300-meter test range is the longest, privately-owned underground bullet test facility in the Western Hemisphere. (RWS has a 500m test tunnel in Germany). Sierra offers free tours of the test tunnel as part of Sierra’s Factory Tour Program.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Day in and day out, various bullet types are tested using a big collection of barreled actions. These barreled actions are clamped in stout, return-to-battery test fixtures. These big, heavy test fixtures provide near-perfect repeatability (with no human-induced holding or aiming errors).

Sierra Bullets 10-Shot Groups at 200 yards
Check out these 10-shot test groups shot at the Sierra Test Range at 200 yards. Note that the numbers listed on each sample are actual measurements in inches. To convert to MOA, cut those numbers in half (to be more precise, divide by 2.094, which is 1 MOA at 200 yards). For example, the 0.340″ middle group works out to 0.162 MOA at 200 yards.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrelsScan-Verified 0.162 MOA Accuracy at 200 Yards
To verify the accuracy of Sierra’s measurements, we measured the middle (.338 caliber) 10-shot group with our On-Target Group Measurement software. We registered a group size reading of 0.339″ — within one-thousandth of the Sierra measurement*. The calculated group size in MOA (Minute of Angle) is 0.162. That’s amazingly good for ten rounds of big .338 caliber bullets. A FIVE-shot 0.162 MOA group at 200 would be considered excellent at any benchrest match. But remember this target has TEN shots. The current, one-target IBS world record for ten shots at 200 yards is 0.245″, set by Ed Watson in 1999.

Bevy of Barreled Actions for Bullet Testing
Sierra Bullets uses dozens of barreled actions for testing bullets in its enclosed, 200-yard test range. Each barrel has its own logbook to track the barrel’s usage.

Sierra Bullets indoors testing barrels
Click Photo to Zoom

*Note, there were ten (10) shots in the group, but for simplicity we are only displaying five (5) shot circles. Adding more circles won’t change the measurement because the two most distant shots, which determine group size, ARE included.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 7 Comments »
October 2nd, 2018

Hand Clamp Bullet Puller — Grip-N-Pull Pros and Cons

Grip-N-Pull bullet cartridge puller removal neck inertial pull collet case reloading

Do you need to pull bullets that have been seated in a case? You can use lever-actuated, collet-type pullers, or inertial hammer-style pullers, but there is a faster solution. The Grip-N-Pull bullet puller is a precision-machined hand clamp that works for multiple calibers. A single Grip-N-Pull can replace several other tools, while being faster to use. With larger-diameter bullets loaded with light-to-moderate neck tension, it works well. The bullets come out pretty easily, with no scuff marks or dents. For smaller-diameter, .204 to .243 caliber bullets, it may be hard to grip the bullet easily, or you may end up with some jacket damage. And we wouldn’t use this for factory-crimped cartridges.

Introduction to Grip-N-Pull — How It Works:

How to Use the Grip-N-Pull
Put your loaded case in the shell-holder on a reloading press. Raise the ram so the bullet is exposed at the top of the press. Then select the correct, caliber-specific slot in the Grip-N–Pull, clasp the bullet firmly, then lower the ram. The bullet withdraws from the case-neck, retained in the tool. Fast and simple. If there isn’t much neck tension (or a crimp), the bullet should come out undamaged.

Not So Great for Small-Diameter Bullets
Watch this video — the tester says the Grip-N-Pull works well with larger-diameter bullets, but there can be slippage with smaller-diameter projectiles, or those with short bearing surfaces. NOTE: When there is a lot of neck tension, you have to grip extremely hard which can cause your hand to hurt after a while. And the bullets can get marred.


This video explains some of the shortcomings of the Grip-N-Pull.

Four Grip-N-Pull Models Available
Grip-N-Pull bullet pullers can be used for multiple calibers. For example, the Standard Rifle Grip-N-Pull pulls bullets for these calibers: .17, .20, .22, .24, .25, .26, .27, .28, and .30. The Large Rifle model works with 8mm, .338, .375, .416 and .458. There is a third model for pistol cartridges, and a fourth “Mil-Spec” unit that does 5.56, 7.62, .338 and .50 BMG. Grip-N-Pull bullet pullers are made of 1/4″ heavy-duty #30 stainless steel and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Speed and Efficiency of Grip-N-Pull
The Grip-N-Pull’s creators claim this hand clamp cuts bullet pulling time in half. For a speed comparison between Grip-N-Pull and a hammer-style (inertial) bullet puller, watch this Extreme Outer Limits video. Bob and Chris Beck do a head-to-head comparison between the Grip-N-Pull and an inertia puller. It’s no contest — the Grip-N-Pull is way faster, and the powder stays in the case.

Pull Comparison — Grip-N-Pull Vs. Hammer-Style Inertial Puller

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading 3 Comments »
October 2nd, 2018

Bump Control: Precision Shims for Full-Length Sizing Dies

Sinclair Die Shims

When your cases become hard to extract, or you feel a stiff bolt lift when removing a cartridge, it’s probably time to full-length size your cases, and “bump” the shoulder back. With a hunting load, shoulder bumping may only be required every 4-5 loading cycles. Short-range benchrest shooters, running higher pressures, typically full-length size every load cycle, bumping the shoulder .001-.002″. High Power shooters with gas guns generally full-length size every time, and may need to bump the shoulders .003″ or more to ensure reliable feeding and extraction.

Use Shims for Precise Control of Shoulder Bump
Some shooters like to set the “default” position for their full-length die to have an “ample” .003″ or .004″ shoulder bump. When they need less bump, a simple way to reduce the amount of shoulder movement is to use precision shims in .001″ (one-thousandth) increments.

Here are reports from Forum members who use the shims:

“Great product. I have my die lock ring(s) adjusted for the shortest headspace length on my multiple chambers 6BRs and 6PPCs. When needing a longer headspace, I just refer to my notes and add the appropriate shim under the lock ring. Keep it simple.” — F.D. Shuster

Mats Johansson writes: “I’ve been using [shims] since Skip Otto (of BR fame) came out with them. I set up my dies with the .006″ shim, giving me the option of bumping the shoulder a bit more when the brass gets old and hardens while still having room to adjust up for zero headspace, should I have missed the original setup by a thou or two. Hunting rounds can easily be bumped an extra .002-.003″ for positive, no-crush feeding. Being a safety-oriented cheapskate, I couldn’t live without them — they let me reload my cases a gazillion times without dangerous web-stretching. Shims are a must-have, as simple as that.” — Mats Johansson

Sinclair Die ShimsSinclair Int’l offers a seven-piece set of Sizing Die Shims that let you adjust the height of your die (and thereby the amount of bump and sizing) in precise .001″ increments. Sinclair explains: “Some handloaders will set their die up to achieve maximum sizing and then progressively use Sinclair Die Shims between the lock ring and the press head to move the die away from the shellholder. Doing this allows you to leave the lock ring in the same position. These shims are usually available in increments of .001″ and work very well.”

Seven Shims from .003″ to .010″
Sinclair’s Die Shim Kit (item 22400) includes seven shims in thicknesses of .003, .004, .005, .006, .007, .008, and .010. For ease of use, shim thickness is indicated by the number of notches cut in the outer edge of each shim. Even without looking you can “count” the notches by feel. Normally priced at $11.99, this shim kit is on sale now for $10.99.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
October 1st, 2018

Bargain Finder 158: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Palmetto Armory — Rem 700 .223 Rem with Scope, $359.99

Palmetto Rem 700 Remington varmint rifle .223 Rem Remington bargain scopes camo Mossy Oak 5.56

Here’s an awesome deal on a camo-finish Remington 700 hunting/varminting rig. The price is just $359.99 with scope and rings! This Rem 700 features 26” blued heavy barrel chambered in .223 Rem, Mossy Oak Camo synthetic stock, and X-Mark Pro (non-adjustable) trigger. The package comes complete with a 4-12x40mm scope. NOTE: The twist is 1:12″ so this is suitable for lighter-weight bullets. Buyers say the scope is pretty cheap, though functional. But this is still a great deal. You could pay as much (or more) just for a Rem 700 short action with trigger. Here you get a complete rifle with a pretty nice hunting stock. Order HERE.

2. Grafs.com — 10% OFF All Powders and Primers

Graf sons grafs.com ten percent 10% off powder propellant primers

Grafs.com is running a great reloading special right now, offering 10% OFF all powder and primers through October 3, 2018. Virtually all your favorite propellants are on sale — Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot, Vectan, Vihtavuori, Winchester and more. In addition, you can save 10% on primers from CCI, Federal, Winchester and other leading brands. Shipping and HazMat fees still apply. Along with these specials, Grafs.com is offering 10% Off Peterson Brass (no listed end date on Peterson brass discount). Hats off to EdLongRange for finding these Graf’s deals.

3. EuroOptic — Vortex Viper PST FFP 6-24x50mm Optic, $649.99

Vortex Viper PST MRAD 6-24x50 scope sale bargain First Focal Plane

Here’s a killer deal on a Front Focal Plane (FFP) optic good for PRS competition and tactical applications. The Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm scope features 0.1 Milrad clicks with an EBR-2C illuminated reticle with Mil-based hash marks. This reticle also features the “Christmas Tree” type lower half, which provides range hold-overs with horizontal markings for wind holds. Not that long ago, this scope sold for around a thousand bucks. Now you can get the Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50mm for just $649.99. That’s a great price for a PRS-ready FFP comp scope with a proven track record and rock-solid Vortex warranty. EuroOptic’s Sale price is $649.99. This is a great deal — this same scope sells elsewhere for $789.99.

4. Precision Reloading — 15% Off All Battenfeld Brand Products

Caldwell Tipton Wheeler Frankford Arsenal 15% fifteen percent discount Precision Reloading Sale

Visit PrecisionReloading.com to save big on Caldwell Rests and Target Cams, Tipton Cleaning Rods and Gun Vises, Frankford Arsenal Tumbler Kits, Golden Rod Dehumidifiers, and Wheeler Engineering Reloading Tools. We use a Tipton Gun Vise, and clean brass with a Frankford Arsenal Tumbler and media separator. We also think the Caldwell Target Cam is one of the best values on the market. It out-performs long range video systems costing hundreds more. HEADS UP: While you’re shopping at PrecisionReloading.com, note that the HazMat fee is only $16 for any powder and/or primer order. That’s half what some other vendors charge.

5. CDNN — Ruger EC9S Carry Pistol, $229.99

Ruger Carry Concealed handgun pistol sale bargain EC9S 9mm

Here’s a good little 9mm carry pistol for a crazy-low price. Right now, CDNN is selling the popular Ruger EC9S 9MM pistol for $229.99 — that’s $70 off the regular $299.00 price. This gun is light (17.2 ounces) and thin so it’s easy to carry discretely. The EC9S is 6″ overall with a 3.12″-long barrel. The EC9S features integral sights and ships with a single 7-round magazine.

6. Midsouth — New Lyman Reloading Presses on Sale

Lyman Ideal c-frame turret reloading press sale discount Midsouth

Midsouth Shooters Supply is running a big sale right on Lyman’s impressive new Brass Smith line of reloading presses. There are three models, each offering great performance and value for its class. You can save quite a bit of cash with this Midsouth Lyman Press sale. If you haven’t tried orange yet, we think you’ll be impressed. The little C-Frame is a steal at $69.99. The sturdy O-Frame Singles stage press is $154.99. And if you’re looking for a Turret press, the new 8-station Lyman Turret press ($192.99 on sale) is very impressive — with more stations than the competition, and enhanced strength/rigidity.

7. Amazon — NcStar Roll-Up Shooting Mat, $29.95

NcStart rollup roll-up shooting mat padded

Thicker and bigger than most shooting mats under $60.00, this $29.95 NcStar Roll-Up Mat has earned excellent reviews for comfort and utility. It has 0.30″ padding plus elbow and knee panels. The mat rolls up into a compact 19.5″ W x 8.5″ H, secured by twin Velcro straps The mat is available in six colors: Tan (shown), green, black, camo, digital camo, and grey. Prices vary slightly among colors. With both carry handle AND shoulder strap, the rolled mat is easy to tote. Here are reviews from three recent verified purchasers:

“This mat is fantastic, the stitching is solid, the padding is thick enough that rocks and cactus aren’t a problem. It’s light, quick, and easy to roll up.” — Angela D.

“Excellent mat. Used it for a Project Appleseed shoot and it performed perfectly. Two days of kneeling, standing and laying on it, over a dirty, dusty shooting range. Came through it all with flying colors. Rolls nicely [and] well-constructed from high-quality materials.” — NPCoach

“Works better than I expected. Easy to roll up and unroll in seconds. Velcro ties save a lot of time. It’s not uncomfortable laying on hard, uneven ground. Great product!” — Robert

8. Midsouth — 17 HMR Ammo Sale, $33.79 for 200 Rounds

Hornady CCI 17 HMR V-Max Vmax varmint ammo ammunition Midsouth

Every good varmint hunter has a 17-cal rimfire in his arsenel. The 17 HMR is ideal for small critters out to about 150 yards. Low noise and low recoil help you score multiple hits. Now’s a great time to stock up on 17 HMR ammunition. Midsouth has Hornady 17 HMR in 200-count packs for $33.79. That works out to $8.45 per 50-count box or $0.17 (seventeen cents) per round. This is good ammo — the tipped V-Max bullets are explosive on ground squirrels and prairie dogs. NOTE: Midsouth also has 500-round 17 HMR bricks for $84.99, also $0.17 per round.

9. Midsouth — 250 Adhesive Precision Targets on Roll, $12.49

midsouth adhesive benchrest precision target roll

Midsouth offers 250 self-adhesive Benchrest Targets on a convenient roll. These stick-on targets work great for load development. The aiming diamond helps align the cross hairs of your scope for consistent shot placement. If you set your Point of Impact to the 1/4″ grid pattern at the top it’s easy to eyeball your group size. At the bottom are fields for your load info. Each Target sticker measures 6″ x 4″ with a 4.5″ x 2.5″ printed area. Midsouth sells the 250-target roll for $12.49, discounted this week from $14.99.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting, Optics No Comments »
September 30th, 2018

Get FREE Official AccurateShooter.com Precision Targets

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target
Right-Click target image to download printable PDF.

We created the above target a decade ago. Since then it has been used by tens of thousands of shooters. It has proven very popular as a load development target, since all your load data fits neatly in the boxes under each target. In fact this target is being employed by both rifle-makers and barrel-makers (including Criterion) to test their products. The target was designed for aiming efficiency. The diamonds have 1/2″ sides and you can align your cross-hairs on the horizontal and vertical lines. It is a clean design that is easy to see even at 200 yards with a 20X scope. When we test, we usually crank in a little elevation, setting the point-of-impact higher, so that our shots fall in the gray circles. That way you leave the squares intact for precise aiming.

We also use these two targets for load development and precision practice. The circle dot target can also be used for informal rimfire competition at 50 yards.
Right-Click Each Target to Download Printable PDFs.

FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target FREE Accuracy Precision Rifle Shooting Target


GET 50 More FREE Targets on AccurateShooter Target Page »

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrestHow to Print Your Targets
Most of us have access to a printer at home or at work. That means you can print your own targets. You’ll find hundreds of free target designs online, including dozens of downloadable targets on our AccurateShooter.com Target Page. If you’re feeling creative, you can design your own target with a computer drawing program such as MS Paint.

Paper Stock Is Important
If you want your self-printed targets to show shots cleanly (and not rip when it gets windy), you should use quality paper stock. We recommend card stock — the kind of thick paper used for business cards. Card stock is available in both 65-lb and 110-lb weights in a variety of colors. We generally print black on white. But you might experiment with bright orange or yellow sheets. Forum Member ShootDots report: “They sell cardstock at Fed-Ex Kinko! I use either Orange or Yellow. That makes it easy to see the bullet holes clearly.” On some printers, with the heavier 110-lb card stock, you will need to have the paper exit through the rear for a straighter run.

Printing Targets card stock heavy paper benchrest

Here are some Target-Printing Tips from our Forum members:

“Staples sells a 67-lb heavy stock that I have settled on. I use the light grey or light blue, either of these are easy on the eyes on bright days. I have used the 110-lb card stock as well and it works fine. It’s just a little easier to print the lighter stuff.” (JBarnwell)

“Cardstock, as mentioned, works great for showing bullet holes as it doesn’t tear or rip like the thin, lightweight 20-lb paper. I’ve never had a problem with cardstock feeding in the printer, just don’t stick too many sheets in there. If I need three targets, I load only three card stock sheets”. (MEMilanuk)

“20-lb bond works pretty well for me if I use a spray adhesive and stick the entire back of the paper’s surface to the backer board.” (Lapua40X)

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
September 29th, 2018

Save Money with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells coupon shopping discount code June 2018

Shopping for gun parts, ammo, or reloading supplies? You will want to check out Brownells current Discount Codes. These Codes will qualify you for significant savings plus FREE Shipping. Use these Codes during check-out and the savings will reduce your net cost. Get up to $20 off on a $200 purchase — that’s a 10% savings. Plus the free shipping could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: Some of these codes expire 9/30/18, so don’t hesitate.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: 2018-09-30 23:59:59

Coupon Code: NCS — $15 OFF $150 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NBM — $10 OFF $100 + Free S/H
Expiration date: 2018-09-30 23:59:59

Coupon Code: PJS — Free Shipping/Handling over $99
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: M7R — Free Shipping/Handling over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Reloading No Comments »
September 28th, 2018

“Overbore” — A Practical Definition by the Numbers

Overbore cartridge chart index ratio 50 BMG Case Capacity 30Br

What is “Overbore”? That’s a question rifle shooters can debate to no end. This article from our archives proposes one way to identify “overbore cartridges”. We think the approach outlined here is quite useful, but we know that there are other ways to define cartridges with “overbore” properties. Whenever we run this article, it stimulates a healthy debate among our readers — and that is probably a good thing.

Forum Member John L. has been intrigued by the question of “overbore” cartridges. People generally agree that overbore designs can be “barrel burners”, but is there a way to predict barrel life based on how radically a case is “overbore”? John notes that there is no generally accepted definition of “overbore”. Based on analyses of a wide variety of cartridges, John hoped to create a comparative index to determine whether a cartridge is more or less “overbore”. This, in turn, might help us predict barrel life and maybe even predict the cartridge’s accuracy potential.

John tells us: “I have read countless discussions about overbore cartridges for years. There seemed to be some widely accepted, general rules of thumb as to what makes a case ‘overbore’. In the simplest terms, a very big case pushing a relatively small diameter bullet is acknowledged as the classic overbore design. But it’s not just large powder capacity that creates an overbore situation — it is the relationship between powder capacity and barrel bore diameter. Looking at those two factors, we can express the ‘Overbore Index’ as a mathematical formula — the case capacity in grains of water divided by the area (in square inches) of the bore cross-section. This gives us an Index which lets us compare various cartridge designs.”

OVERBORE INDEX Chart

Overbore Index Chart

So what do these numbers mean? John says: “My own conclusion from much reading and analysis is that cartridges with case volume to bore area ratio less than 900 are most likely easy on barrels and those greater than 1000 are hard on barrels.” John acknowledges, however, that these numbers are just for comparison purposes. One can’t simply use the Index number, by itself, to predict barrel life. For example, one cannot conclude that a 600 Index number cartridge will necessarily give twice the barrel life of a 1200 Index cartridge. However, John says, a lower index number “seems to be a good predictor of barrel life”.

John’s system, while not perfect, does give us a benchmark to compare various cartridge designs. If, for example, you’re trying to decide between a 6.5-284 and a 260 Remington, it makes sense to compare the “Overbore Index” number for both cartridges. Then, of course, you have to consider other factors such as powder type, pressure, velocity, bullet weight, and barrel hardness.

Overbore Cases and Accuracy
Barrel life may not be the only thing predicted by the ratio of powder capacity to bore cross-section area. John thinks that if we look at our most accurate cartridges, such as the 6 PPC, and 30 BR, there’s some indication that lower Index numbers are associated with greater inherent accuracy. This is only a theory. John notes: “While I do not have the facilities to validate the hypothesis that the case capacity to bore area ratio is a good predictor of accuracy — along with other well-known factors — it seems to be one important factor.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
September 26th, 2018

Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Oct. 1-7, in Raton, NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship Raton NM
NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championship will be held October 1-7, 2018 at the Whittington Center in Raton, NM. During the week-long event, top Black Powder Cartridge Rifle (BPCR) shooters from around the country will test their skills at Raton with targets at 200 to 1000 yards. The event starts with mid-range matches at 200 to 600 yards, followed by 800- and 1000-yard long-range competition. On the firing line you’ll see many handsome, custom-built BPCRs (Sharps, Ballards, Browning High Walls, Rolling Blocks) with exquisite wood, hand-checkering, and color-case-hardened receivers.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

The 800-1000 yard Creedmoor matches will be held Friday and Saturday, October 5-6. Interestingly, for safety reasons, there are minimum bullet weight and muzzle velocity requirements for the Creedmoor matches. These BPCR shooters launch some seriously heavy projectiles downrange.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

REGISTRATION: Registration will take place at the Eagle’s Nest Building at the Whittington Center. NOTE: There are minimum requirements for bullet weight and velocity. Only ammunition which produces these results, or better, and only rifles that have long-range sights, will be permitted for use in the Creedmoor Championships. See the BPTR Nationals Ballistic Velocity Chart below for minimum requirements. There may be a 2% variance on bullet weight or velocity:

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are many motels in the town of Raton, about 10 miles from the Range. In additions, there are accommodations on the grounds of the Whittington Center: 90 beds in Competitors Housing and 100 beds in Log Cabins. These facilities fill up quickly — call the Whittington Center right away at (575) 445-3615 to reserve.

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

NRA Black Powder Target Rifle Championships Raton NM

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition No Comments »